|Hiring within the community||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Barbara Lynch (dancerbarbphch.org)|
|Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2006 14:33:56 -0700 (PDT)|
Barbara Sarah wrote: > Ulster County (NY) Cohousing is in the process of re-visitng the question of a policy regarding hiring people from within the community to do work for the community. We'd appreciate any wisdom/experience that others have had with such a policy. Do you do it or not? If yes, how has it worked? If not, what's that been like? My community has been discussing this isssue since before movein, when we decided not to hire from within for a variety of reasons. For another bunch of reasons, we've been revisiting this decision for many months. We have a 9 page proposal under discussion. We're only tackling the issue of hiring handyman/contractor people. I've copied just the pros and cons below from that proposal. We require outside contractors to provide proof of liability insurance, workman's compensation, and that the community is named as an additionally insured for liability. A sticking point is requiring the same of a community worker who is being paid. I know that cohousers traditionally are not so legalistic, but we have done a lot of research on this topic and the experience or others has been mixed. We contacted people directly and some said things they wouldn't say on this list. Some cohousing communities hire people from within for a wide variety of work with no difficulty. Others say, "Don't do it!" and tell why it's been unsuccessful in their community. So we continue to proceed cautiously. Barbara Lynch PROS and CONS There are pros and cons to hiring qualified community members. There are pros and cons to hiring outside people. Both options entail risks-- legal, financial, emotional. The following focuses on the pros and cons of hiring a qualified community member. PROS 1. A qualified community member is more available and motivated to fix things in an emergency and to deal with projects that are too small to bid to contractors. 2. A qualified community member has a lot of motivation to do a good job because he/she lives here and wants to maintain a nice community for us all. 3. It's an opportunity to build expertise with a qualified community member, which will benefit the whole community. CONS 1. Paying one community member creates a commercial relationship between him/her and the community. This might affect interpersonal relationships within the community. 2. We don't want a creeping monetarism to develop in our community. 3. The community needs to work more on process skills such as conflict resolution. We don't have enough of those skills yet to do something as risky as hiring a community member. 4. Hiring a community member may put that person into a powerful position relative to the HOA/community decisions. 5. We're a big enough organization that we should deal with professionals at arm's length and only hire outside service providers. 6. Paying some community members and not others may be unfair, and may cause resentment and conflict. 7. Paying a community member may discourage other community members from getting involved with a task or stretching themselves to learn new skills from volunteering. Barbara Lynch Pleasant Hill Cohousing in Pleasant Hill, CA http://www.phch.org/ Cohousing/US Board member
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